Will Anderson Jr NFL Draft
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2023 NFL Draft Focus: Will Anderson Jr

Hello and welcome to the inaugural edition of the 2023 NFL Draft Focus. In this series, we will look at the incoming prospects hoping their names will be heard on draft night. Be sure to check often as we will produce content until the event’s start.

BACKGROUND

Will Anderson Jr is an EDGE prospect out of Hampton, Georgia. He was dominant, especially as a senior where he racked up 22 sacks and 15 TFLs. Due to his performance, he was named to the All-American Bowl in 2020. Rivals listed him as a five-star prospect and the top weakside defensive end at his position. He committed to play for Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide.

COLLEGE CAREER

In Alabama, he was named as a starter but as an outside linebacker instead of his original position in high school. This didn’t affect him as he was a key member of the National Championship Team in 2021. His freshman campaign ended with seven sacks and 10.5 TFLs. His sophomore season was one of the most impressive for any player in college football. Will led the league with 17.5 sacks and 34.5 TFLs. He earned multiple awards such as the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

2022-2023 COLLEGE CAREER

His junior season was a “down year” as he didn’t improve his statistics from his second year. He did however put fear into the opposition as he had 10 sacks. Even with this, he still garnered multiple accolades. He won the Lombardi Award, Lott Trophy, SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a unanimous All-American.

STRENGTHS: Physical Skills

If you can make an NFL player in the lab, Will Anderson Jr comes to mind. He has everything that makes him a multi-time Pro Bowl player when he turns pro. His first step is elite and gives opposing teams nightmares to plan and defend. His hands are incredible as he knows how to use them depending on the situation. Will has an intense motor that never goes down. Whoever drafts him will have a reliable defensive player for years to come.

WEAKNESSES: Needs To Add More Pass-Rush Moves

This isn’t a serious weakness as Anderson is one of the most skilled players in the draft. However, the difference in athleticism and skill is much more apparent in the NFL compared to college. Adding more moves will make him a much more difficult matchup for any offensive line.

PLAYER COMPARISON: Shaquil Barrett

TEAMS WHO COULD DRAFT HIM

Will Anderson Jr is a lock to be a top 5 pick when the NFL draft begins. He appears to be the second defensive player taken after Jalen Carter. Whoever picks Anderson will get one of the top talents in the draft. He could be a game-changer for the Cardinals at 3rd with J.J. Watt‘s retirement. If QBs do rule the first few picks, Seattle at 5th would be a nice place for him, especially after the amazing year their rookies had.

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